A spokesperson for the organisation also told The Guardian he is “not eligible for membership” again, and that “USA Swimming condemns the crime and actions committed by Brock Turner, and all acts of sexual misconduct.”
There is very, very little to be gained from the still-unfolding case against 20-year-old Stanford student Brock Turner.
Sure, the backlash against the paltry six-month sentence handed to the lauded athlete proves the broader community is sick to death of a dangerous and pervasive culture of sexual entitlement, but petitions and rallying cries still won’t change the fact he sexually assaulted another student.
Still, the entire planet can find some small kind of poetic justice here, far away from the courtroom: Swimming USA, the sport’s leading body in the States, has officially banned Turner for life.
In a statement, they say that although Turner was not a member at the time of the assault, their rulebook “strictly prohibits and has zero tolerance for sexual misconduct, with firm Code of Conduct policies in place, and severe penalties, including a permanent ban of membership, for those who violate the Code of Conduct.”
The fact he faces exclusion from America’s peak swimming organisation – who are charged with picking their Olympic squad, no less – is especially notable due to the fact his lenient sentencing was allegedly influenced by his sporting prowess.
In the same jaw-dropping letter in which Turner’s father claimed his son shouldn’t be unduly punished for “20 minutes of action”, he also wrote “his life will never be the one he dreamed of and the one he worked so hard to achieve.”
As more details surrounding the case continue to emerge – newly obtained court documents imply Turner may have sent photos of the unconscious 23-year-old’s breast to teammates – lawmakers have pushed for the soft-ball sentence to be investigated by the District Attorney.
While an athletic ban might only affect one person, a critical review of sentences for convicted sexual abusers might just have bigger cultural impact. Well, we can only hope.
Photo: Santa Clara County Sheriff’s Department.